Tensions are running high in the United States Senate as Republicans and Democrats clash over the provisions of the latest and largest coronavirus relief bill.
Republicans, terrified at the damage that the coronavirus crisis and mass quarantining are doing to the economy and their chances to re-elect Donald Trump, are desperately trying to rush through a stimulus package that they wrote without any consultation from the Democrats.
Within that bill is a plan to funnel $500 billion in corporate bailouts to a slush fund that would be controlled by the Trump White House with little oversight, no commitment to ensuring small businesses get a piece of the pie, and no protections for workers.
Recognizing the obvious opportunity for grift and thievery by the most outrageously corrupt administration in American history, Democrats have been blocking the procedural votes on the bill until they get their say — much to the fury of vulnerable Senators like Susan Collins (R-MA), who threw a performative fit on the Senate floor today in a desperate effort to appear concerned about the wellbeing of the American people.
“This is disgraceful…We don’t have another day! We don’t have another hour. We don’t have another minute to delay acting” complained Senator Collins, who reporters have described as “fuming” and “furious.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Twitter to tell her what she could do with her melodramatic, attention-seeking outbursts:
.@SenatorCollins can keep her crocodile tears.
She voted & fought HARD to strip pandemic prep funding. She helped drive the lack of preparation that we had leading up to this.
What’s actually disgraceful is her “I’m a Moderate Lady” dance to cover up brutal policies and votes. https://t.co/sY2Iv4y3fT
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 23, 2020
Senator Collins and the mainstream media loves to portray her as a Republican “moderate” because she isn’t quite as rabidly MAGA as most of the rest of her caucus, but despite occasional moments of ultimately meaningless displays of independence (like her vote against Betsy DeVos), she has been as dutiful an enabler of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell’s extremist agenda as any other Republican.
On top of that, we can thank Senator Collins herself for stripping nearly a billion dollars in pandemic preparations out of the 2009 stimulus package — one of the many reasons we’re having such a hard time responding to the crisis today.
— Michael Grunwald (@MikeGrunwald) March 12, 2020
Collins and McConnell can weep all the crocodile tears they want, but for the first time in forever, Democrats have the leverage in Washington and have backed Republicans into a corner. We can only hope they have the stones to milk it for all it’s worth and force the GOP to do the right thing for the American people, not just their corporate donors.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.